Show Notes for Ep. 42 "Afro-Surrealism With Yvette Ndlovu"

Humans Mary Anne and Ben interview Yvette Lisa Ndlovu, (also human), as well as a Zimbabwean sarungano (storyteller), about her work in her recently published short story collection “Drinking from Graveyard Wells.” The hosts of MRAH explore what it means to be a writer from the diaspora with Ndlovu, as well as how she walked the line between speculative fiction and surrealism while ruminating on the rich historical, cultural, and mythological stories of her homeland. 

You can find out more about Ndlovu and her short story collection, “Drinking from Graveyard Wells,” at

Recorded December 11, 2022 / Published June 5, 2023


  • 0:00:00 – on being a writer from the diaspora
  • 0:12:50 – on the historical and cultural influences of Ndlovu’s stories.
  • 0:20:60 – on how Ndlovu’s collection resists being fully speculative
  • 0:31:44 – on Ndlovu’s Clarion workshop experience
  • 0:34:50 – who is Ndlovu in conversation with? (writers mentioned in podcast listed below)
  • 0:42:35 – what is lost in translation going from oral to literary traditions
  • 0:49:40 – on what Ndlovu grew up reading
  • 0:53:30 – intermission and SLF ad
  • 0:54:44 – an aside on Beth Meacham and critique burn
  • 1:02:50 – how Ndlovu found and came onto the show
  • 1:05:34 – on the elements of anger and feminism in Ndlovu’s work
  • 1:23:07 – on the responsibility of the diaspora
  • 1:37:44 – on how Ndlovu organized the stories and the disorienting nature of surrealism
  • 1:48:40 – concluding thoughts and Ndlovu’s next project

Works and Authors Mentioned

Organized by order of appearance.